Best Parenting Tips

parenting tips

Looking for the top parenting tips the internet has to offer? Whether you’re a new parent or just looking to step up your parenting game, our top 5 parenting tips are sure to elevate your bond with your child. 

      1. Listen and use the phrase “I hear you” 

While it may be tempting to immediately jump in or solve any problem your child might bring to your attention, practice taking a step back to listen first. Determine if your child wants your help, or just wants you to listen and give them space to talk. The phrase “I hear you” can help your kid to feel seen and understood. 

       2. Search for the underlying need behind the behavior

Beneath every behavior lies an underlying need, such as hunger, sadness, or pain. Young children typically aren’t able to express these needs in a healthy way, and often end up getting in trouble. Instead of just addressing behavior, ie. stoping the crying, screaming, “back talk” etc., look for what that behavior might signify and try to teach your child to express that need in a safe way. 

        3. Set clear expectations and boundaries

Avoid framing any mandatory request as a question. For example, “Hey, can you get your shoes on now?” or, “Want to put your shoes on now?” If they say no, and you insist, this can cause confusion, frustration, and a feeling of powerlessness. Instead, state what needs to happen, and only ask questions when your child really has a true choice. 

         4. Offer two choices 

 If you find your kids often arguing or refusing after you state what needs to be done, try not to escalate the situation into a power struggle. Instead, acknowledge you hear them, but maintain what needs to be done and offer two choices so they feel a sense of control over what happens. Here are two examples: “We need to brush your teeth. Do you want to do it by yourself, or do you want me to help you?” or, “We need to brush your teeth. Do you want to do it now, or in five minutes?” Try not to offer more than two choices, as it could overwhelm your child and they might end up acting out. 

           5. Use related consequences instead of punishment 

When you were a child, were you ever spanked, or sent to time out? For many of us, these punishment tools only created anxiety, shame, or resentment. Try using related consequences instead! For example, if your child makes a mess, tell them it’s okay to make a mistake, but as a consequence, they need to help clean up. Or, if they are screaming in a restaurant, a related consequence might be spending time outside until they are calmer. The goal is to provide discipline while avoiding feelings of low self-worth, anxiety, and trauma. 

 There’s no such thing as a perfect parent, and it’s totally normal to make many mistakes throughout the process. We hope these tips will help you to feel more confident as a parent, so you can help build confidence and connect with your children. 

What was the best parenting advice you ever received? Leave a comment below!

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